Houseparty app offers $1m reward to unmask entity behind hacking smear campaign

Shades of the story of Icarus here. Apps like Zoom and Houseparty have seen meteoric rises in uptake during lockdown. When something like this happens the old “Qui bono” test applies. Who benefits from Houseparty being uninstalled?…:

Houseparty, a video conferencing desktop and mobile application, said it would pay a $1 million bounty to anyone who could unmask the entity behind what the company described as “a paid commercial smear campaign.”

The company’s apparent anger comes after Houseparty has been at the center of media reports published yesterday by three British tabloids.

The Sun, the Express, and Mirror Online reported on Monday on a large number of Houseparty users claiming they had social media accounts hacked and taken over after installing the video conferencing app on their smartphones.

Users reported having Netflix, eBay, Instagram, Snapchat, and Spotify accounts taken over; however, very few were able to provide details about what really happened.

Houseparty denied any hacking rumors right from the get-go via a firm statement posted on its Twitter account, claiming that the app “doesn’t collect passwords for other sites,” and, hence, wouldn’t be able to allow anyone to extract this data and pivot to other online services.

However, despite the explanation, the app is now at the center of a public relations disaster. Many of its users appear to believe the reports and are encouraging others to uninstall and delete the app from their devices.

Original Article